I'm author ELLE STRAUSS and welcome to my website!
I write fun, lower Young Adult (teen) fiction to do with whimsical things like time-travel, fairies and merfolk.
When my serious side peeks out, she's called LEE STRAUSS. She likes to write upper YA about real things that have happened in the past, or made up things that could quite possibly happen in the future.
This blog is about books, mine and other fab authors', but occasionally I'll share about other topics.
Thanks for dropping by!
Monday, March 29, 2010
March has been an intense writing month for me, and with my writing efforts, blogging and social networking over the last six months, I'm feeling a need to take a rest. Plus, those OTHER THINGS are shouting now, and they won’t take NO for an answer!
So with that I bid you adieu for a couple weeks. During that time I won’t be writing(much)--I’ll be taking care of family and company, working my day job, celebrating Easter and preparing for taxes, along with a bit of house and yard work thrown in.
Though I won’t be blogging, I’ll probably peek in on Twitter and Facebook once in awhile.
I hope you have a wonderful, happy and blessed Easter break.
PS. March Madness continues until Wednesday. Check in with Denise on Monday at http://denisejaden.livejournal.com ,on Tuesday with Shana at http://shanasilver.livejournal.com and on Wed with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Friday, March 26, 2010
How about you? There are a few days left, will you meet your goals?
Check in Sunday is with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/ and Monday with Denise at http://baskinex.blogspot.com/
As previously posted, my PC laptop had crashed and so my work availed me with a Mac to use at home in the meantime. Because I couldn’t figure out the Mac and hadn’t yet discovered the tutorials, I defaulted to my daughter’s older PC tower computer, which tricked me into downloading a virus (boo-hoo) and so now I’m back on the Mac.
And here’s the thing: I’m sick of my computers crashing. Also, I’ve made friends with the Mac thanks to the tutorials and my oldest son who’s home from university who also owns a Mac.
I’m thinking, maybe I should get a Macbook, (since current Mac computer is a loaner), but then, after some research I realized that Macbooks are WAY more expensive than PC’s (boo-hoo2).
When you open up the Safari browser on a Mac (at least the one I’m using) the main page is a big advertisement for the iPad. So, I started reading up on it—what’s all the fuss about?
Hmm. As a writer, what is it that I really need from a laptop? Besides mobility, the internet for social networking and research, email, and a word document program. Pictures and video ability is a bonus. Calendar? Notes?
And what do you know, all these features are available on the iPad, plus it has an e-reader that rivals Kindle and the like. (though the word program called Pages is an app, it’s compatible with .doc and .pdf and can be shared.)
You can also purchase a docking station to prop it up, or a cover that works as a stand and a regular keyboard.
The ipad is available at half the price or more of the Macbook. And though it’s small, 9.7 inches or 24.6cm, it’s the same or comparable size of a PC Notebook.
If you were in the market for a new writing device, would you consider the iPad as a viable option? Are you planning to purchase an iPad?
Click here to check out the features for yourself.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
But in a good way. Mostly. When I decided to join the other mad hatters for March Madness, my plan was to finish the first draft of my current wip. It didn't take me long before I realized I had bitten off more than I could chew, but chew away I did. Because I have historical sections, it requires a lot of research, research I thought I'd completed, but as I got into it, I realized, um, no. I still need to learn more.
In the mean time my agent was sending me back edit notes on CLOCKWISE, back and forth, and after a month, we finally nailed it and Agent Awesome deemed it ready for submission.
Which got me thinking about the next book I wanted to submit to her. A completed novel (ha-ha.They're never really completed until the book is in print!) that I wanted to run through one last time. I started yesterday. I'm still not done. Again, it's a bigger job than I thought.
(Also my daughter's computer crashed so I'm back on the Mac, and I'm starting to get the hang of it.)
So, I'm writing, revising and researching and getting things done, people! Just not OTHER THINGS. Which are starting to whimper and groan from neglect. It's a good think March Madness is almost over, because the OTHER THINGS are getting restless, and they may get nasty.
Don't for get to check in today with Jen http://jenhayley.com/blog/ and Thursday with Denise http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html
Monday, March 22, 2010
and on Tuesday with Shana at http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
This weekend I read The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks. I liked it a lot. I was easily pulled into the world he created. He made me want to spend a summer on the ocean front. I think I'll add this to my bucket list. The two main characters are actually teens, so it could've been classified YA or at least a hybrid. Like all Nicolas Sparks books, the story pulled emotional strings.
But this is not what this post is about.
This is NOT a review. If you haven't read it, you might want to come back to this post later. CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Half way through the book, you find out that Ronnie's father is dying of cancer. He agonizes about the choices he made in his life to this point and he worries about what will happen to his two kids after he's gone. Through it all, he makes his peace with God.
Ronnie, the teen daughter, also full of regrets, knows her dad will never see her get married or have kids.
I too, have a regret. When I was newly married, I met this cool person called Ilka. She was tall and skinny and had wild curly blond hair and always a big smile on her face. We discovered we'd both just gotten married recently on the same weekend , were the same age by a month, and shared the same faith in God.
We got together semi regularly. I had two kids and then two more, a boy and a girl, during which time she had a boy and a girl. Then we got busy with our lives, I moved away and back again a couple of times and we lost touch. (This was before the magic of email and social networking).
Though we had fallen into different social circles, my son Jordan and her son Tyson went to school together and became friends.
Then one day last fall, Jordan says, “Tyson's mom is dying.” What??? “Yeah, she's been sick for a long time. They didn't think she would last this long.”
Except for the few times we'd ran into each in the school parking lot, I hadn't talk to her that much. In fact, I hadn't seen her for years. I hadn't even heard she was sick. How did that happen?
I didn't know what to do. Should I call her? It seemed odd and frankly the idea was uncomfortable because we'd been out of touch for so long. I saw her profile on facebook, so I friended her, hoping she'd friend me back, which, after awhile she did. But, without a message.
I thought about trying to see her, but after watching my neighbour, Lyn, pass away just a month and a half earlier, I thought that maybe Ilka didn't want visitors anymore. Especially ones from the distant past. Maybe she would be embarrassed by how she looked. Did she have hair? Was she emaciated?
Or maybe she would resent seeing me, still alive with a future. Me, pursuing my dreams and passions. Me and my adventures. Me, with a good probability that I would see my daughter graduate, get married and have children, when she would not.
Then, on March 01, she died.
And I realized that not seeing her was the dumbest decision I had ever made. Having watched Lyn die with grace and dignity, and with a heart full of love for everyone who came to see her, I know in my heart that Ilka would have been just like that. Grateful to see me and gracious about my life I get to live.
I wish I could have talked to her about what it was like for her when she found out about her sickness and how she came to a place of acceptance. If she came to a place of acceptance. How she had the grace to say good bye to her children and husband of nearly 23 years. Too early, too soon.
I know that one day I will make it up to her. We will be in heaven together with all the time in the world. But for now I hope that I've learned something. I'm not sure what, yet. It's still working itself out in my heart, it's something that needs to take its time.
But I did call an old friend I hadn't talked to or seen in five years. That's part of it, I'm sure.
Friday, March 19, 2010
So, we're just over the middle--this is the hard part--pushing through to the end. I know I've had sluggish days and productive ones and everything in between. In fact, I didn't do any actual writing yesterday. I plotted scenes in my head and where they'd fit in my wip, but mostly I just read The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks. That man knows how to weave a story!
Anyhow,today, I'm going to start writing those scenes, one at a time.
How are you doing? Is it tough slugging or full steam ahead?
Don't forget, every check in is an entry for a lot of great prizes! Check in Sunday with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/
1) I'm on submission!! Yes, it's true. Agent awesome emailed me yesterday to say we are ready to start sending this baby out. I'm excited and terrified because I know from the experience of others that it can be a long wait and not always a fruitful one. But today I am hopeful. So, yay!
2) Has anyone read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? Originally published in 1950 (I'm researching that era so I thought I'd read something people were reading back then)the copy I have is a 50year anniversary special edition. Great, must be really good. Huh? Can you say wierd? I find it over dramatic (maybe the style of the times) with an interesting premise that isn't at all well executed IMHO. When my eyes aren't glazing over, I'm scratching my head. Obviously, I'm missing something. I finally gave up and started reading The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks. Now you're talking...
3) March Madness is on Day 19. Kudos to all of you fellow writers who are plugging through your wips this month. Check in today is with Denise at http://shanasilver.livejournal.com and tomorrow with ME, at http://ellestrauss.livejournal.com/ or www.ellestraussbooks.blogspot.com
4)Before hubby left for Germany we went to see REMEMBER ME. At first neither of us was eager to see vampire boy in another movie, but the pickings were slim, so we did. First of all, it's strange to see Robert Pattinson without yellow eyes and pale skin, but most surprisingly of all was the fact that this boy can actually act. Honestly. Twilight does not do him justice. Remember Me is about Tyler and Ally, two young twenty somethings with tragic family histories, whose lives eventually cross (of course, and I won't say how.) The script was well crafted and well acted by all the key actors including Emilie de Ravin,the Austrailian from LOST. Curiously, 3 of the leads had to adopt American accents for this movie.
The ending has a lot of people in a twitter. Some don't like it all. I kind of did. It's not a feel good ending, but it makes you think. And talk. And think some more, and because of that, I think it's definitely worth watching.
I leave you with the trailer. Have a great weekend, everyone.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Friday with Shana at http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
Is it just me, or is it contest mania out there in the blogosphere? Since I just hosted a contest, I want to "pay it forward" and let you know about three other worthy bloggers hosting fab contests.
If you've never hosted or entered a blog contest, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, not only do you have a chance to win something, you get to meet people. Other people like you who want to win books and other writerly things. And hosting a contest give you exposure because people talk about you. Like I'm about to talk about these three awesome authors right now.
In honor of her 1st blog anniversary, Steph Bowe at Hey teenager of the year is having a massive book giveaway. Check these titles out:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty
Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwansey
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Pact by Jodi Picoult
World Shaker by Richard Harland
Exposure by Mal Peet
Sprout by Dale Peck
Panama by Shelby Hiatt
Every winner will get lots of book swag - bookmarks, postcards, badges, etc...
And if you're an aspiring YA author, you'll also get a query critique & first five pages critique of your YA manuscript from Steph Bowe!
Next up is Shannon at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. She's hit 400 followers and is celebrating by offering a signed copy of Hush Hush. Wow.
And last but not least is Sara at Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler. Check out her stash of prizes. And all because she likes March! (I think)
There are 12 prizes combined into five packages... which means FIVE winners!
PRIZE PACKAGE A
SIGNED copy of Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters
PRIZE PACKAGE B
SIGNED copy of The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent (and bookmark)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
PRIZE PACKAGE C
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
2010 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
PRIZE PACKAGE D
LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries Series:
The Awakening and The Struggle (Books 1&2)
The Fury and Dark Reunion (Books 3&4)
Nightfall (The Return: Volume 1)
PRIZE PACKAGE E
OPI Giftset: Alice in Wonderland edition
Vera Bradley ID holder (Turquoise)
OPI Regular sized polish: Mad as a Hatter
So, go on, enter! You never know, you may be a winner!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Wednesday is with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Thanks to everyone who entered and FB and tweeted my new agent contest. It was Fun!
I had three people guess the right time of 03:00. My lovely assistant drew one of those names from a bowl, and the winner is...
Megan, please send me your mailing address at ellestraussbooks at gmail dot com
And I will send these lovey books to you.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Tomorrow I announce the winner of my new agent contest!
Today I'm very pleased to interview an all kinds of awesome ,up and coming young author-- Rachel Mercaldo.
Rachel and I share the same awesome agent, Natalie Fischer from the Sandra Dijkstra agency, so that makes us agent sisters! Rachel found me on facebook and then had the great idea to do interviews. She's obviously very smart, and I'm not just saying that!
ES: You are among the rare fortunate few to already be agented in your teens. Can you tell us a bit about your query journey?
RM: My story is slightly different than most, actually. I queried 3 books before The Virginity Thief and got nowhere. Finally VT came to me. After my first experience with betas and working with other writers to make the book the best I could manage, I queried it. I got requests. I got a lot (a lot) of rejections. I also won a pitch contest and was able to submit a full. But Natalie and I actually found each other another way. A friend of mine gave her my name and we ended up interviewing Natalie for a group blog we contributed to. Then Natalie found herself at my blog, where I had a 'blurb' of VT up. She liked the sound of it and e-mailed a request.
Wow, that is unorthodox. Also proof that good blogging has many benefits.
ES: When did you start writing and what kind of stories did you write?
RM: Oh, my writing career started at the ripe old age of 7. I wrote a story about a princess locked away in a tower, saved by a dashing prince. I read it to anyone I could manage to make listen and I even planned on writing a sequel full of breathless sword fights - my younger brother influencing me. Then it was a fantasy revolving around a missing horse, full of fun animal friends, one of which liked to play with swords too. Who knows, maybe I'll return to that someday, but all my other work has been in line with my YA contemporary bent.
ES: Can you tell us a bit about your literary work?
RM: With Natalie is The Virginity Thief, and because of edits that's what I'm really working on right now. Mari Abdo is my main character, an up and coming Hollywood actress forced by her parents to move to the East Coast. Her opinion of her new home, a slow farming town, is less than kind… especially after she is rejected by the first boy she is attracted to, Adam, and discovers he is part of the school’s elite club of male virgins.Determined to prove to Adam that no man can stay a virgin long, Mari employs the help of a few misfit wannabes to bring down the virginity club. Each is given the name of a member to seduce and destroy, and for herself Mari takes the hardest case; Adam, the newest club member who has something to prove.
ES: How do you juggle being a student with your work as a writer?
RM: I'm lucky I don't work full time! And I don't mean that as a joke. I spend my days on the degree and tutoring, and my nights on the manuscripts and beta reading. I think one of the hardest parts of a writer's job is balancing their art with "real life." It is a job in itself. There are a lot of late nights but they are so worth it.
ES: I see on your bio that you want to pursue math and IT as a career. How does that blend with your writing career?
RM: I believe my brain will forever be torn in half between mathematics and creative writing. Unless I somehow manage to inspire myself with mathematical concepts for some epic mathematical YA series (hey, anything is possible) I don't see them blending at all. What they do manage to create is a great balance. I'm never too focused on creative writing to the point it is my whole life and any failure would be heartbreaking; and I'm never too focused on mathematics that, say, not finding the inverse to a matrix ruins my day.
See, I told you she was smart!
ES: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
RM: Taking this from a Math/Creative writing perspective... Oh wow. I hope for the perfect situation, when I can have my PhD and use it too, all while writing YA fiction that means something to me and to the readers who will, hopefully, get their hands on it. Maybe throw in a family too. Obviously the perfect situation is a hard one to ever get, and I might have to make some tough decisions in my future. But so far the balance has worked for me.
ES: Any advice to other writers in the querying process?
RM: Number one is don't give up. I can't repeat that enough. As I mentioned, I queried 3 books before VT came up. There were a lot of times I thought of letting go of the dream and focusing on other things. Thankfully I didn't, and I'd hate to see anyone else drop writing when the future is actually so bright.
Secondly is to not be afraid to "put yourself out there." Natalie found me because of the blogs I contribute to. In today's Internet age, it is really important to have a presence, and I'd encourage anyone to set themselves up for success through networking.
Thanks Rachel! You are an inspiration to all of us, and I anticipate a long and happy career ahead of you!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sunday, check in with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Well, you're almost at the half way mark. Some of you are patting yourselves on the back for staying on track with your goals, maybe exceeding them. Good for you! We celebrate with you and say keep up the good work!
Others of you are not as far as you thought but, I bet you are farther than you would've been without MM, am I right? This is where I am. I could be farther on, sure, but I AM farther on than I would be if I hadn't participated with all of you and committed to writing. So, yay to us, as well!
I had a couple of hard days, but I pushed through and wrote anyway. Then I took a day off, which is perfectly acceptable. I also got more revision notes from my agent that I have to work on today, but I'm hopeful that we are near the end, and soon ready for submission! If I get through those, I'll get back to current wip, one sentence at a time.
How about you? How's it going?
1) March Madness is here, and if you haven't heard, I don't know where you've been! If you want to tackle that wip and need a little accountability with great prizes, climb on board. It's not too late. Check in today withhttp://shanasilver.livejournal.com. Tomorrow you check in with ME at http://ellestraussbooks.blogspot.com/ or http://ellestrauss.livejournal.com/
2)There's still time to enter my contest celebrating my new agent. Two fab YA time travel books up for grabs. Deadline is bedtime March 14th.
3)I have a new sister! Rachel Mercaldo and I recently discovered that we share the same fabulous agent, so that makes us agent sisters. I did my very first blog interview with Rachel--check it out here. Next week I'll be interviewing Rachel (she's only 19!), so be watching for that.
4)I've blogged a lot about the importance of a strong beginning. Here's our chance to show off our opening scenes writer muscles. Kelly is hosting the In The Beginning Blogfest, April 2. Go see Kelly,sign up and join in for some blog fest fun!
5)And finally, I'm a Semi-Finalist! From Georgia McBride's YALITCHAT newsletter:
Last month I announced the semi-finalists in the Sourcebooks Fire (Teen Fire) YALitChat Writing Contest. There were 45 out of hundreds of entries. Congratulations to everyone who entered.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I read two YA books back to back this week, each of which has a lot of industry buzz. I'm not going to say which ones they are, since this isn't meant to be a critique--just an observation. I will clarify that neither was Twilight.
Both books had the dark, brooding, extremely handsome love interest, who also turned out to be very strong and undamagable.
Both had the semi fragile (but stronger than she knew) protag with a personal history that she didn't know she had.
Both protags had a class with the love interest who just happened to sit next to her; and both were equally frightened and fascinated by said love interest.
Both protags had a best friend who continually did stupid things so that the protag had to do stupid things to save her.
Both protags had parental situations that left them home alone a lot.
Both love interests had a demented and obsessive ex-girlfriend.
Both love interests could alter the reality of the normal people around them.
Both protags were led to believe that their love interests were out to destroy them somehow, even though they could tell that they didn't really want to.
Turns out the real villian in both books was an "associate" of the love interest, and both villians gave big bad guy confessions just before they were about to kill the protag.
Both protags survived the villians attempts, obviously.
And I could go on.
My teen daughter and I had a good laugh over this. So many books lately are sharing many character and plot devises. One of these books had the protag Google her love interest unhumanly characteristics a la Twilight, while the other, well, I don't want to be a spoiler.
Daughter and I went on to make up our own story. We searched for a newer non-human form for our love interest and came up with the Merman. He had to be dark and broding and a new student at the protag's school, and somehow managed to sit by her in class. He scared her and intrigued her at the same time. She was especially curious about the gill like tattoos he had on his neck. Eventually she went home to google them. She goes out on her sailboat alone, (her token stupid thing) and of course, gets caught up in a storm. But's she's saved by a strange sea creature that looks oddly familiar (which in fact, was the reason she went out on the sailboat alone in the first place. Something just draws her to the sea.). It turns out that she is a descendent of a mermaid/ human, and is needed back at Atlantis to save the secret world. Only the love interest was betrothed (years and years ago) to the princess mermaid, and she'll have none of that, so she plots to destroy.....
I think you know how it ends.
Is it just me, or are you finding that many books are now feeling a lot alike?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tomorrow, visit Jen at - http://jenhayley.com/blog/ , and since I won't be blogging on Wednesday, I'll let you know now that on thursday you check in with Denise at http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html
A while back I read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey (great last name, btw!)
It was a fun read, I enjoyed it for the most part, though I don't think it's possible to make drinking blood by the cupful, sexy. Sorry, that's just my opinion.
Anyhoo, this post isn't meant to be a review. Like I said, I enjoyed the book, and I found it particularly amusing because the mysterious love interest is from Transylvania in Romania. Of course, he's vampire royalty. Where else would he be from?
I may have mentioned along the way, that my husband and I have been involved with humanitarian/missionary work in Romania since 1997, and so, I've had the opportunity and privilege to travel to Romania several times. I've been to DRACULA'S CASTLE. Yes, I have. And I have pictures to prove it.
Dracula's Castle. A nice ominous looking day.
The courtyard doesn't look that scary. That's me, on the left.
Another courtyard picture. That's my friend Coreen, who lives in Romania. She doesn't look that scary either. Does she?
I have a particular fascination with Romania which I'll blog about in the future, but not because of vampire lore. In fact, I think I've read enough vampire books to satisfy me for a good long time. I'm worried that the love interest in the book I'm currently reading is going to turn out to be of the vampire variety. The signs are all there: the red drink, agelessness,good at absolutely everything, rich.
I really hope not. What about you? Are you done with vampires, or is it a genre you'll love forever? (Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha).
Monday, March 8, 2010
For those of you who don't know, some of us crazy writers are doing a sort-of-Nano in March. We're setting our own goals, and encouraged by others who are doing the same, are getting some writing done! Even though many of us aren't getting as much done as we'd like, we're getting more done than we would of without the support of March Madness. At least that's true for me! How about you?
So if you haven't started writing yet, or if you started and slowly tapered off on your progress, IT IS NOT TOO LATE! Join in. Let our little community help propel you forward.
And for that extra push, Denise has this exciting piece of news to encourage you on:
I have some exciting news this week in regards to prizes. My agent, Michelle Humphrey from the Martha Kaplan Agency, has generously donated a 10-page critique as one of the prizes for March Madness! Anyone who has been trying to get published for any length of time knows that it is not easy to get feedback from industry professionals - they're all so busy and overworked. And I can say from personal experience that my agent has a very keen editorial eye. She's been a huge help to me and my writing.
Now there's only one of these 10-page agent critiques available, but the more often you check in, the greater chance you have at winning it. And if you have writer friends who would really love a prize like this, make sure to let them know. It's not too late to get in on The Madness!
If you've just discovered March Madness Writing Challenge, check out this post to find out more.
Don't forget to check in today with Denise at http://denisejaden.livejournal.com. Tomorrow (Tuesday), meet us at http://shanasilver.livejournal.com.
And here's to WEEK TWO!
Note: if you have trouble checking in at any of our stations throughout the week, feel free to leave a note about it on any of our other blogs and we'll make sure your check-in is counted.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Update: If you are on LiveJournal and prefer to check in there, go to my LJ blog at http://ellestrauss.livejournal.com/
Yippee! It's my turn to host March Madness. Remember, every time you check in and update, your name is entered into a draw for a number of great prizes.
If you're just hearing about March Madness now, go here to find out more.
No writing day is the same. A couple days ago, I was on a roll. Yesterday, due to events beyond my control, I didn't write at all. Now writing feels like pushing a medicine ball up hill. I pushed through, wrote a scene I know I'll have to revise heavily later on and did some minor tweeking. But I did get a couple ideas for sub plot points along the way.
Today I'm going to write out a scene(s) I'd just summarized in red after Nano. I'm hoping to hit a total word count (so far I'm at 28,800) of 30K by the end of the day.
You have to take the good days with the bad, and everything in between. But, like my Aunt Lynn says: If I get out of bed in the morning, it's a good day! It's all in how you look at it.
Tomorrow's check in is with Jen at http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Now, go get writing!
I got zilch done yesterday, but hey, today is a new day.
Hey, I've reached 100 followers! Thanks for all the blog love!
So, as promised, the Julie & Julia Party recap. It started off kind of hectic. Donna, my friend who hosted, didn't realize the nurse was schedule to give her elderly father, who lives with her, his yearly check-up, so there was a lot of back and forth for her and loud talking. Then Norine's hockey student, who lives with her, hurt his shoulder, so she had to leave to take him to the doctor. That left Shawn and I to tend to the Boeuf Bourguignon boiling down on the stove. Somehow, when Shawn stirred it, gravy flung out my way and landed in my hair.
Not exactly how any of us as imagined the day. But, after a while the nurse left, and Norine returned and we started to relax. She put the Chocolate Souffle in the oven and we turned on the movie, pausing in between courses. First, yummy, yummy Ceasar Salad with fresh egg dressing, parmesean and garlic croutins.
Then, my offering, Potage Parmenter, aka Leek and Potatoe soup. Since I'm so not a foodie, and my dear friends know this, they gave me the easiest recipe. And it was yummy, yummy.
(I'm not a food critic, so pardon my lace of creative descriptions. Take it from me, everything was very yummy, yummy.)(no pic of me, due to my bad beouf bourguignon hair day!)
This was followed by the main course provided by Donna, Beef Bourguignon, the fabulous stew (it includes 1.5 cups of red wine!) that got the attention of Julia Child's editor. Her words: Yum (And this coming from an editor. See, I'm not far off.)
And topped by Norine's adventurous Chocolate Souffle. You guessed it, yummy, yummy.
You can't eat this food and watch this movie without talking like Julia Child's in her famous head voice. My favourite line by her: You're alone in the kitchen, who's to know? Said after she failed at flipping an omelette and just picked up the pieces patting them back in place.
My friends aren't writers, but they have passions and dreams equal to mine. They all understand the despair of Julie Powers as she had a meltdown on her kitchen floor, kicking her foot. They all want to feel like Julia Child, eager to leap out of bed when the alarm goes off because they're so excited about what they're going to do. They're encouraged that, after eight years of trying, Julia Childs published her book.
You never know what can happen if you just don't give up.
Have you ever felt like giving up? If you've been following my blog, you know I have. How about now, today? Are you leaping out of bed, eager to take life on, or moaning on the floor?
If you're on the floor, don't dispair. We've all been there. Just don't give up.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Today, I don't have as much time to write. I'm joining three of my friends for a Julie and Julia day. We're each bringing a Julia Child's dish, and watching the movie together. If you haven't seen the movie, you should. It's very inspiring for writers. I'll post about how it goes tomorrow.
So, today, go check in/update at Denise's blog http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html
On Friday check in is with Shana, http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
For all my fellow MARCH MADNESS revising/writing friends--Keep Up the Good Work!
And we have more great prizes to hand out at the end, including a ten page critique by Denise's own great agent, Michelle Humphrey's!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I don't know about you, but I'm finding it hard to get going. I'm hoping it's a slow warm up to writerly efficiency. So glad I have YOU GUYS to keep me motivated.
Big cheer out to all of you who have checked in and updated your progress everyday.
Today's check in is with Jen Hayley at http://jenhayley.com/blog
Tomorrow it's back to Denise's blog http//www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html
(You'll be checking in with me on Saturday. I can't wait to meet up with all of you then.)
If you're just hearing about MARCH MADNESS, and your curiousity is peeking, then visit here to find out what all the fuss is about. It's not too late to join.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here's how to enter: In the comments, post a random time from the 24hour clock (just hours, no minutes or seconds). For those of you who don't live in Europe or are not in the army, 1:00pm is 13:00, 6:00pm is 18:00, midnight is 00:00 or 24:00, etc.
I will choose a random time and seal it in my vault (okay, my cash box) and promise to promptly forget it. If more than one of you chose my time, I will put your names in a bucket and have my lovely assistant (aka teen daughter), choose the winner.
You can enter more than one guess if you post about this contest on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc. Plus one guess if you are a follower (new or old).
Jane Winner comments:
I posted about this contest on my two blogs, 02:00, 09:00 on facebook, 16:00, twitter 11:00 and I'm a follower, 00:00.
Jane Winner has five entries!
The dead line is in twelve days, on Sunday March 14. This contest is open to Canada and USA.
Also, this is day 2 of March Madness. If you haven't started writing yet, it's not too late. (It's never too late!) Check in today is at Shana Silver's blog: http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
Tomorrow head on over to Jen Hayley's blog at: http://jenhayley.com/blog/
I'll see you there!
Monday, March 1, 2010
My goal is to finish my second CLOCKWISE book by March 31st. I started it during Nano, and it's time to see it to the end!
Set your goal(s) in the comments so we can all keep each other accountable. Join in anytime, even if you didn’t find this post on March first – just head on over to the designated day, drop in your goal, and start reporting in.
Now for the fun part! There will be check-in stations at the following locations through the month of March:
Mondays - http://denisejaden.livejournal.com
Tuesdays - http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
Wednesdays - http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Thursdays - http://www.denisejaden.com/Blog.html
Fridays - http://shanasilver.livejournal.com
Saturdays - http://ellestraussbooks.blogspot.com
Sundays - http://jenhayley.com/blog/
Make sure you head over to Denise's blog, to check in today. I'll meet you there with more details of what I hope to do this week.
Check in up to once per day – share your victories and struggles – and for each check-in on the designated blog, you will earn an entry for some fabulous prizes. (fine print – this is only available for ages 13 and up. If you live somewhere other than Canada or the U.S., please put “International” in your comment – we will have a few specific draws for international recipients, but unfortunately due to mailing costs, we can’t include you in all of them).
And now for the fabulous prizes…Here are a few of the great prizes you can win, and if there’s lots of support for March Madness, we will add even more!
Advance copy of SPELLS by Aprilynne Pyke
TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER by Dwight V. Swain
WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL and FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass
HEIST SOCIETY (autographed) by Ally Carter
ON WRITING by Stephen King
Advance copy of RADIANT SHADOWS by Melissa Marr
Keep checking back for more prizes, including more great books, and query and partial critiques!
Tomorrow,(Tuesday) head on over to http://shanasilver.livejournal.com to let us know how it’s going.
And now…LET THE MADNESS BEGIN…